19th August

A day that looked as if it might be a complete write-off ended up unexpectedly rewarding, with a late flourish on land and sea. Heavy rain that had set in before dawn persisted until lunchtime and even then drizzle and reduced visibility lingered on until well into the afternoon before the gloom lifted enough to permit some limited fieldwork. Most attention was devoted to the sea where the tiniest trickle of Manx Shearwaters was just about enough to stave off falling asleep at the eyepiece until the evening when a mini purple patch saw single Long-tailed Skuas pass both the Chesil Cove and the Bill (the former heading south and the latter west so quite likely not the same individual); 2 Balearic Shearwaters and an Arctic Skua were also logged at the Bill, with 5 Whimbrel and a Great Skua through off the Cove. The lingering Rosy Starling popped up again after a couple of days with no reports: it was first spotted on rooftops at Pound Piece before later showing up on a bird-table in a garden beside Easton Square. The day's only other news concerned a Pied Flycatcher and a few Willow Warblers at the Obs and 7 Sanderling, 7 Little Terns and a Common Sandpiper at Ferrybridge.

With something as striking as an adult Rosy Starling even a snatched record shot with a mobile phone is enough to provide a gripping little reminder of the fleeting visit of a nice rarity © Sally Philipps